NUPENG tasks FG, National Assembly on takeoff grant for FUPRE in 2018 budget
It said this would ensure that the FUPRE Act was fully implemented and funding provided for its operations just as the Federal Government had done to its counterparts across the country.
Chairman of the Branch, Comrade Victor Owhofaraye, made the call at the National Delegates Conference, which ended yesterday in Port Harcourt, River State.
While commending the National Assembly for passing the Bill and to President Muhammad Buhari for signing it into law, it said FUPRE remains a stakeholder in the country’s oil and gas sector.
He said: “It is a known fact that the Nigerian economy thrives on a mono-product and as such the government, policies and politics are solely dependent on oil.
“FUPRE as a frontier institution, whose focal view is on the training of manpower and development in the oil and gas, is poised with campaign initiatives to advance innovative and cutting-edge researches geared towards the improvement of local contents and human capital in the petroleum and allied industry.”
He noted most of the reforms made by the Federal Government in the oil and gas sector were yet to produce their desired results and made a significant change in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
Owhofaraye argued that the solution to the challenge was the proper implementation of the FUPRE Act, which would enable the petroleum university to meet its core mandate, as well as ensure that both national and approved modular refineries were fully functional and well maintained.
Speaking further, he described Federal Government’s failure to implement the FUPRE Act in the 2018 budget as negligence on its part.
He noted that the North-East Development Commission Act that was signed barely a week after FUPRE’s to the tune of N45 billion and the $1 billion military funds earmarked to fight terrorism were already captured in the 2018 Appropriation Act.
He said while it was counterproductive for the Federal Government to neglect the implementation of the FUPRE’s Act, which implies non-commitment to the Niger Delta region, from where major finances were harnessed, adding it was a slight on the region, which could not be condoned going forward.
Owhofaraye also enjoined the Federal Government to live up to its commitments and responsibilities to the Niger Delta Region and to Nigerians in general, insisting that it was no wonder that the PAN Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Niger Delta Youth Coalition (NDYC) have continued to lament the situation.
He commended the National Assembly for their effort, while citing a motion by Dr. Istifanus D. Gyang of the House of Representatives on December 21, 2017, which mandated the Committee on Appropriation to ensure that adequate budgetary provisions are made in the 2018 budget for the smooth takeoff of the university.
Also on March 28, 2018, Reyeineju Daniel moved a motion, which was adopted by the house and mandated Ministry of Petroleum, Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF) and NCDMB to remit two per cent of their annual budget for research and infrastructure development of the university.